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March 24, 2014 | by  | in News |
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Bus Wankers

Students in Dunedin are paying less for buses, but the Greater Wellington Regional Council hasn’t budged on fairer fares for Wellington students.

A 25 per cent discount for students at the University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic has resulted in a “surge” of more than 800 students using the city’s public bus service every day.

18,223 student trips were recorded in the first 22 days of the discount trial, and Otago Regional Councillor Michael Deaker said patronage “appears to be stabilising at that level.”

The trial is being run by the Council along with the student associations at the University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic. OUSA President Ruby Sycamore-Smith said she was very happy with the numbers of students using the service.

In 2013, VUWSA campaigned on ‘Fairer Fares’ for Victoria students, but was stymied by the Greater Wellington Regional Council.

The latest Draft Regional Public Transport Plan, approved by the Council on 19 March, again contained no tertiary concessions.

VUWSA Welfare Vice-President Rick Zwaan told  Salient that the Fairer Fares campaign was “still one of our core priorities”, and the organisation was “working through the most effective mechanisms” to get the fares.

Councillors voted in February this year to raise bus and train fares from 1 October. Despite ever-decreasing patronage, fare revenue is expected to rise by 3 per cent annually.

The public will be asked to provide feedback on the draft plan between 4 April and 9 May, and the final version is expected to take effect from 24 July.


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